Oceanlinx wave of success

With the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the world’s first 1MW wave-energy-to-electricity unit has been launched.

The device, which is located in Port MacDonnell, South Australia, is designed to convert the ocean’s power into electricity. it’s now preparing to commission and test how well it can feed into the national electricity grid for a 12-month period.

ARENA chief executive officer Ivor Frischknecht said the project is helping take a home-grown wave energy technology that has zero emissions closer to commercialisation.

“Our investment aims to demonstrate the technology and share lessons learnt to catalyse future projects,” he said.

“The project has improved collaboration between the research, government and industry sectors to deliver wave energy projects including co-ordination on regulatory matters, which will make the next project easier.”

Mr Frischknecht said there is great potential for wave energy technology in Australia and acknowledged the area between Geraldton in Western Australia and the southern tip of Tasmania has the potential to provide about five times Australia’s total electricity requirements.

Following the testing period, there is potential for Oceanlinx to scale-up its device and increase the power generated up to 10MW, contributing more renewable energy into South Australia’s electricity mix.

Oceanlinx’s technology works by waves producing high-pressure air, which is converted into grid-quality electricity by a turbine.

The $8 million project is supported by ARENA’s Emerging Renewables Program, with $4.4 million funding.